Millions worth e-ticket system cannot keep up with elementary registration of trips. On top of that, losses of Rīgas satiksme are covered by tax payers. Such a picture was revealed by results of a recent study, as noted by deputy Chairman of Unity faction in Riga City Council Olafs Pulks.
He reminds that the introduction of Rīgas karte’s administered e-ticket system had once cost Riga EUR 16 million. In addition, the system’s annual maintenance costs, according to State Audit’s estimates made in 2010, could reach EUR 13 million.
As an experiment, 60 consecutive trips were carried out throughout 15 January – 14 February. According to Rīgas satiksme’s established discount policy, passengers should be charged EUR 50 for all 60 trips, which is the same price as a season ticket. However, information from e-ticket receipts clearly shows that the amount charged is only EUR 44.05, which is EUR 5.95 less than what is required by RS tariffs. In the continuation of the experiment, from 15 March to 7 April, EUR 8.55 was not being charged. Over the course of nearly three months, RS suffered losses of EUR 27.40 just from one passenger due to an error with the record system.
In addition, experts found that records that reflect amounts charged on specific dates are in chaos. For example, the calculated fee complied with RS tariffs only on seven out of twenty four surveyed days. Nine days in a row the test passenger was being charged less than what is provided by tariffs. Eight days in a row the test passenger was being charged more than what is provided by the tariff, said Pulks.
Results of that specific experiment showed that the passenger was the one who benefited during the experiment by not paying nearly EUR 28 for trips over the course of three months. Nevertheless, the chaos reflected in RS’ e-ticket administration system does not provide confidence that passengers do not overpay for their trips, said the deputy.
«Rīgas satiksme had received nearly EUR 93 million in 2015. The lion’s share of this amount came from taxes paid by Riga’s residents – EUR 88 million. In addition, subsidies provided by the municipality are not the only payments provided to RS. In addition to the clearly error-filled reports, RS is also paid a state subsidy administered by Transport Ministry’s Road Transport Administration. The duty of this institution is making sure transport data authenticity. However, there are concerns on whether or not that it was previously done,» – said the deputy.
According to him, «it is not hard to calculate that Rīgas satiksme loses up to EUR 100 from each passenger every year because of the accounting system’s error. According to estimates, RS had carried 150 million passengers in 2013. This makes potential losses hard to comprehend.»
«Considering that the matter regarding the size of subsidies for 2016 has become topical recently, questions RS and Riga City Council have to answer are clear. First of all, how does Chairman of Riga City Council Nils Ushakov provide supervision over the company’s revenue and compliance with provided services? Secondly, does Rīgas satiksme provide any supervision over transactions administered by Rīgas karte?» – added Pulks.
Based on results of the experiment, the deputy has asked the State Audit to investigate if RS’ revenue accounting system provides transparent control over compliance with provided services, as well as determine is RS has taken into account recommendations provided by the State Audit in 2010.